Alnus americana K.Koch
Alnus autumnalis Hartig ex Garcke
Alnus glutinosa autumnalis Kuntze
Alnus glutinosa lusus obtusifolia Regel
Alnus glutinosa oblongata (Aiton) Pers.
Alnus glutinosa serrulata (Aiton) Regel
Alnus incana serrulata (Aiton) B.Boivin
Alnus latifolia Desf.
Alnus macrophylla Desf. ex Corrie
Alnus noveboracensis Britton
Alnus oblongata (Aiton) Willd.
Alnus rubra Desf. ex Corrie
Alnus rugosa obtusifolia (Regel) H.J.P.Winkl.
Alnus rugosa serrulata (Aiton) H.J.P.Winkl.
Betula alnus serrulata (Aiton) Michx.
Betula oblongata Aiton
Betula serrulata Aiton
Common Name: Smooth Alder
Alnus serrulata is a deciduous shrub or multi-stemmed tree with an open to ascending crown; it can grow up to 10 metres tall[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine. It is used in soil stabilization and restoration projects.
Alnus serrulata has a very broad geographic distribution in eastern North America. There are no known threats that are or will adversely affect this species in the foreseeable future. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
Eastern N. America - Quebec and Nova Scotia, south to Texas and Florida
Moist lowlands, such as swamps, and along ponds and streams where it forms thickets[
]. Along streambanks, shorelines, swamps, bogs, fens, edges of sloughs, successional swampy fields, low wet woods alluvial and tidal swamps, ditches[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Other Uses Rating||
Prefers a heavy soil and a damp situation[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils[
]. Tolerates very infertile sites[
]. Requires a position in full sun, dying out when shaded by taller trees[
A fast-growing but short-lived tree[
This species is closely related to Alnus rugosa[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
A tea made from the bark is analgesic, astringent, blood purifier, diuretic, emetic and purgative[
]. It is used in the treatment of various conditions including diarrhoea, the pain of childbirth, coughs and fevers, toothache and sore mouths, to lower blood pressure, to stimulate the kidneys, and to clear milky urine[
Externally, it is used as an eye wash and a wash for hives, poison ivy rash, piles, swellings and sprains[
A decoction of the cones is astringent[
Trees have extensive root systems and are sometimes planted on the banks of streams in order to prevent erosion[
]. They are also planted for wetland restoration[
The wood is soft and brittle, weighing 29lb per cubic foot[
]. It is of little commercial value[
Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe and only just covered[
]. Spring sown seed should also germinate successfully so long as it is not covered[
]. The seed should germinate in the spring as the weather warms up. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. If growth is sufficient, it is possible to plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in pots outdoors and plant them out in the spring.
If you have sufficient quantity of seed, it can be sown thinly in an outdoor seed bed in the spring[
]. The seedlings can either be planted out into their permanent positions in the autumn/winter, or they can be allowed to grow on in the seed bed for a further season before planting them.
Cuttings of mature wood, taken as soon as the leaves fall in autumn, outdoors in sandy soil.